Montana State dual threat quarterback Dakota Prukop will visit Oregon this weekend, making this the second season in a row that the Ducks have at least entertained the idea of an FCS quarterback transfer.
The junior has also been granted a release to TCU and Texas, but hasn’t gotten as far in discussions with those schools nor has he scheduled any other visits. Prukop said that other quarterbacks on TCU’s roster make it highly unlikely that he’d choose the Horned Frogs.
“I’ve had the most contact with Oregon,” Prukop said. “Oregon is definitely ahead of the ball game. I’ve built a good relationship with the coaches I’ve spoken with so far. But I’m going to keep all options open so I can do what’s best for me and my family.”
Prukop had a fantastic season this year for the Bobcats. He threw for 3,025 yards and 28 touchdowns and rushed for 797 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Former Montana State offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey said that he believes Prukop would fit “perfectly” in Oregon’s system because the Bobcats run a very similar system. Cramsey was hired to coach full backs and tight ends by former Oregon coach Chip Kelly when Kelly was a coordinator at New Hampshire. It was there that Cramsey developed much of his system and he employed a lot of that same scheme at Montana State.
Cramsey said that Prukop has all the elements in his game to excel within coach Mark Helfrich’s scheme -- staying in the pocket, moving out of the pocket, presenting the quarterback run.
“In the style of offense that I’ve run with him for his college career to the style of offense that Oregon plays, I think he’s prototypical for that,” Cramsey said. “He has a chance to shine with the surrounding cast that he would have at that level.”
The Ducks and Bobcats shared a similar opponent this season -- Eastern Washington. Though it’s not a perfect comparison by any means, Prukop did put up better numbers against the Eagles than Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.
Adams Jr. was injured in the fourth quarter, but before that he threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns and added 94 rushing yards.
Two weeks later Prukop and Montana State played Eastern Washington and Prukop threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns and added 196 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
Prukop said that he studied Oregon’s game film leading into that game and saw how similar his offense was to the one Oregon runs.
“It’s a very comparative scheme,” Prukop said. “Each offense has their own things, it’s by no means the same offense. But the core elements behind each offense are the same. The philosophies, what they try to do to defenses … I think those are relatively the same.”
All of this has moved very quickly for Prukop.
It has only been about 10 days since he first got into discussions with Oregon. Former offensive coordinator Scott Frost was never a part of the recruiting process for Prukop, but he said it’s important to him to see whom the Ducks will hire as an offensive coordinator moving forward.
Prukop said his plan is to be able to commit to a school quickly so that he can enroll this winter. That won’t leave a lot of time for other visits, but he said it’s important for him to balance the necessity to get on campus early without rushing a decision.
“It’s extremely important for a team to be able to go through offseason workouts together,” Prukop said. “For all parties, I think, the earlier I can make a decision the better it will be for everyone.”
If the Ducks do need to move on this quickly they’ll be in luck because they are well versed in the mechanics of an FCS transfer. But it’ll certainly bring up discussion about why the Ducks need to get lucky with FCS transfers instead of using the handful of quarterbacks they already have on their roster.